Best Dog Crate for Car Backseat; How To Choose The Right One

Dog in back seat.

The best dog crate for a car backseat will comfortably and safely transport your pet in the back of a vehicle. Whether you need them for a quick trip to the vet, or long-distance car travel, there are some things you should consider before making your purchase.

Factors like size, weight capacity, material types, and ease of use can all affect which type of crate is good for you and your pup!

Here is our ultimate guide to the best pet carriers for car travel. Whether you’re traveling for an appointment or making a long drive, we’ve got your back!

Are All Dog Crates Safe For Travel?

Dog crates for car travel come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Some are lighter than others, making it easier for you to take your dog out of the crate when needed (e.g., potty break).

Hybrid metal/plastic dog crates will usually be the lightest type available on the market, but they also have some downsides – they’re more expensive. They may not be as durable if left outside or exposed to extreme temperatures often. Plastic dog crates are lightweight and easy to clean (wipe them with a damp cloth) but can crack from high-impact accidents during transport because they don’t typically have any added protection like steel wireframes do!

The safest type of dog crate for car travel is a metal dog crate. Wire crates are easy to fold and store and can withstand extreme temperatures well!

Hard plastic dog crates are also an excellent choice for car backseats because they’re lightweight and have an easy-to-clean surface that can withstand temperatures well.

How Do I Know if a Dog Crate is Crash-Proof?

A dog crate should be crash-proof if you use it in a vehicle. An excellent way to tell is by how well the door latches shut. Also, whether or not there are gaps where your pet can escape during an impact.

Dog crates for car travel come with different levels of security, so you’ll want to find one that has features like clips attached to the seats in front of them (to prevent sliding), straps on top that will secure it down inside the vehicle – these all help keep your dog safe when traveling. However, ensure they’re also light enough and easy to take out when needed!

The best way to spot a crash-proof dog crate for a car backseat is to check if it is listed by the Center for Pet Safety (CPS). CPS is a non-profit research organization that tests pet products to ensure they are safe.

However, some dog crates for car backseats are not tested by CPS yet might be sturdy enough to withstand crashes. Another metric to verify if a dog crate can withstand crashes is to check existing users’ feedback. You can find such information on related forums and online marketplaces. 

Dog Crate for Car Backseat vs. Dog Seat Belt

There are many different dog travel options, and it can be hard to know which is best for your pup. One of the most popular choices when traveling with a dog on the road is to put a pet crate in the car.

When traveling in a car with your dog, it is essential to restrain the pet so everyone involved can be safe.

A good dog crate for a car backseat offers a safe and comfortable place to travel with your pup.

Seat belts are suitable for short trips, but if you’re traveling with your dog for an extended time, we recommend a dog travel crate.

A dog seat belt will only restrain the animal in one position and can cause spinal problems from all the pressure it puts on its body. Dogs are naturally curious animals that want to explore around them as they please – this means giving them some space is essential! There’s also plenty of room inside these crates, so your pup won’t feel like they have no place to move or stretch after sitting still in one spot for too long.

What are the Features to Look out for in a Dog Crate?

Hundreds of dog crates are on the market, but not all types are created equal. There are many factors to consider when buying a dog crate for your pup’s car backseat! Let’s go over some of them now.

  • Size: You need a size that will comfortably and safely transport your pet in the back of a vehicle. Consider the length from nose to tail before choosing one! – Weight Capacity: Like humans, dogs can only tolerate so much weight in their environment. Dog carriers should also be designed with this consideration; paying attention to how big or small they may be able to handle what you want/need out of an enclosure is vital.
  • Materials: The crate’s material is an important consideration. The type of materials of dog crates is metal, plastic, and fabric. Consider your dog’s duration and type of travel before deciding on a specific crate’s construction.
  • Portability: Some crates are more portable than others, so if you’re on the go a lot and want to bring your dog everywhere with you, then make sure that when purchasing an enclosure for travel purposes, it can be easily folded up or rolled up.
  • Safety: Safety is the first concern when transporting your dog in a car. Should carriers with sturdy materials that will not break when your furry friend moves around or jumps into it and allow for airflow to keep them cool on hot days!
  • Price: Price varies from one brand to another; some are more expensive than others, but usually, you get what you pay for with these types of items, so if possible, don’t cheap out unless there’s no other option because then you might end up spending more money replacing something before too long.
  • Color: There are many color options to choose from when shopping around for dog carriers that will go in the backseat of your car; it all depends on which option you prefer!
  • Additional features: Dog crates for car travel can have many different elements included, such as ventilation holes, water-resistant material, storage pockets for travel goodies, clips and straps to secure it down inside the vehicle, etc., which are nice to have but not the end-all, be-all of features. Dog crates for traveling are also much lighter than traditional ones you often see in people’s homes. They’re typically made from aluminum instead of steel. It can easily be carried around or taken out when needed without being too heavy.

Top 5 Crash-Tested Dog Crates for Car Backseats to Consider

1. Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed

Dog Crate for Car Backseat

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Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed has exciting features to meet the user’s needs. As you probably know, the primary reason you need a travel dog crate is to protect your dog in the car in case of an accident, and you need a crash-proof crate to ensure your dog’s safety. That’s what you get from this mobile crate. Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed has been crash-tested and confirmed to be crash-proof. It is also CPS-approved.

When traveling with your dog in the car, you need a crate comfortable for your canine friend. Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed features a soft polyester inside to help keep your dog comfortable. It is also spacious—your dog can turn around or stretch inside.

Overall, this travel crate is designed with outstanding features that guarantee comfort and your pet’s safety while traveling. It can fit perfectly on most car backseats.


  • Crash-proof
  • Carrying handle
  • Washable bedding
  • Comfortable interior
  • Water-resistant foam liner


  • You can’t use it for air travel.

2. Orion Kennels AD1 Premium Crate

Orion Forest Kennel

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Orion takes your dog’s safety to the next level.

Since traveling with your four-legged friend is a great responsibility, this Orion KD1 Kennel keeps it safe throughout the trip.

This dog crate is crash tested by CPS and made of the same material as their strong kayaks. It is ultra-durable.

The door opening is unique. It opens to the right, left, and up, or you can even take it out.

Fits perfectly in the back seat of your car or truck. And has multiple tie-down options.

It is also lightweight, which makes it easy to carry around.


  • Chew proof
  • Crash tested
  • Multiple backseat tiedown options
  • Handle dogs up to 25 lbs


  • It doesn’t come with accessories
  • Not air travel approved.

3. Gen7 Pets Commuter Buckle in Car Safety Seat

Dog crate for car backseat

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This is another excellent dog crate out there that has earned the recommendation of the CPS. It has been tested and verified crash-proof for dogs that weigh up to 20 lbs—making it suitable for small-sized dogs under 15 lbs. Gen7 is also designed to last longer—it is made with ballistic nylon and industrial stitching.

Another good thing about this dog travel crate is that you won’t use it only in cars. You can also use it in airplanes, and it has been approved for use by leading airlines.

Apart from protecting your pet in the event of an accident, this crate also keeps your dog comfortable. You won’t need a mat inside to keep your dog warm, as it already has a cozy comfort pad. It is also portable, and you can quickly move it in and out of the car.


  • Crash-proof
  • Comfort pad
  • It can be used on vehicles and airplanes.
  • Easy to Clean
  • Machine Washable


  • Not suitable for medium or large dogs

4. Petmate Sky Kennel

Dog travel crate for cars and trucks

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If you want a dog travel crate suitable for a car and aircraft, Petmate Sky Kennel should be an excellent choice. This crate serves dual usage—vehicles and planes- and has been approved by major airlines.

The crate has secured wire vents and doors to restrain your dog securely throughout a trip. It is also crash-proof, and this should give you peace of mind.

Carsickness is common in most dogs, and ventilation can help prevent motion sickness. While you can open your car windows a bit to bring in the fresh air, you also need to have the crate open to allow the air to penetrate—Petmate Sky Kennel features 360-degree ventilation that lets your pet enjoy the fresh air.


  • Excellent ventilation
  • Easy to assemble
  • Dual-use: car and aircraft
  • Secured


  • Difficult to disassemble
  • Requires a separate bed pad to keep your dog comfortable
  • It’s heavy—moving it in and out of your car and be difficult.

5. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

Elite Dog crate

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This crate comes in different sizes and allows you to choose the size that perfectly fits your dog. EliteField features a soft interior that keeps your dog comfortable, and it is also spacious enough for your dog to play with toys inside. It is stylish, lightweight, well-ventilated, and exceptionally durable.

It is portable, with a handle and hand-carrying straps on the crate. Users can fold it for storage after use. EliteField also comes with a two-year warranty.


  • Lightweight
  • Removable and washable bed cover
  • Spacious
  • Hand carrying straps


  • Difficult to fit on some car backseats

Traveling Longer Distance with Your Dog? 

If you’re going on a long-distance car trip with your dog, investing in one of the best dog crates for car backseats may be essential. These pet carriers are typically heavier and can hold more weight than other options making them perfect for those looking for extended travel distances. The larger size also means that they provide more space inside. It is ideal when trying to house different animals like cats or small dogs alongside large breeds.

This model is also specifically designed with a removable tray for easy cleanup. It includes straps that can keep the dog securely inside its transportation container on the ground and while traveling at higher speeds.

Motion Sickness

Also, watch for any motion sickness your dog might experience. Dogs can get sick in cars just like humans, mainly if your furry friend is not used to traveling for several hours in a vehicle.

If you are traveling for short distances, you can secure your canine friend with a dog harness. But for traveling medium to long distances, using a dog crate is highly recommended. And you should add toys that can keep your dog busy in the car; this may prevent idleness that could cause motion sickness.

Also, do not put water or food in the crate. We do not recommend it while traveling in the care of your dog.

Non-Crash-Tested Dog Crates

Non-crash-tested dog crates are not safe during long trips, so be sure to get one from our list of suggestions!

And make sure it’s in accordance with your state or province law before purchasing anything online or offline. For example, some states require all dogs to have at least six square feet of space – even if the animal is small like a Chihuahua – while others don’t set any size standards whatsoever. (click here)

The safest type of dog crates for car travel is sturdy and durable but not too heavy, so they’re easy to carry.

According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, driving on highways with any animal in the back of a truck is an offense. Animals must be secured within crates for transport in cars.

All animals should always be transported within wire car cages or harnesses inside automobiles and never loose in open-air spaces at speeds above 60 km/hr.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Is there any difference between a dog crate and a dog cage?

Generally, a dog crate and a dog cage mean the same thing. The only difference is that dog crates are portable. They primarily transport dogs over long distances in a vehicle or an airplane.

On the other hand, a dog cage is not portable and is mainly used to house a dog at home. It is often large enough to have spaces for defecating, playing, etc.

How to Measure The Best Size Crate For Your Dog?

Take these measuring steps below:

  • Height: Begin from the ground to the tip of your dog’s ears and head. This ensures that your canine friend stands easily while inside the crate. You should also add some extra inches as well for improved comfort.
  • Length: Start the measurement from the tip of your pet’s nose right to the end of the tail. When you get the precise size, add a few more inches to the measurement—maybe two or four. This is to optimize the size of the dog crate for comfort.
  • Remember that your canine friend will need to stretch or turn around while inside the crate. And the most crucial aspect is that your dog needs to be secured inside. Your pet may get severely injured in an accident if you go for a much larger crate without considering your dog’s size.

Wrap Up

The best dog crate for a car backseat should be able to withstand a crash, so you must find one with the proper safety features.

Whether you’re taking your furry friend to the vet, a new home, or on vacation, they must have a safe and comfortable ride. When traveling with dogs in cars, consider how their crate will fit into your vehicle and how easy it will be for them to get in and out of it. You want convenience for both yourself and your pup!

The top 5 crates we reviewed are all crash-tested, so you can rest assured knowing that if an accident happens while driving with them inside, they’ll be alright. Pick one of these crates today and ensure your dog’s safety when traveling in the car’s back seat.

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